Authorities in Brazil have charged a man named Guilherme Esteves de Jesus in connection with payments that were reportedly made illegally in connection with contracts for drillships awarded to units of Sembcorp Marine.
This was confirmed by SembMarine on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, when Wong Weng Sun, the company’s president and CEO, disclosed in a results briefing that Mr. de Jesus has already been charged with illegal activities linked to these contracts.
Mr. Wong did not comment further concerning the connection between Mr. de Jesus and SembMarine and its other companies. However, the company had said in a disclosure in March 2015 that Mr. de Jesus had a connection to consultancy companies linked to Sete Brazil drillship contracts awarded to SembMarine’s subsidiaries. The disclosure was made after Mr. de Jesus had been arrested.
The company’s president denied that SembMarine knew if any of its employees were involved in any charges, and that Mr. de Jesus is mounting his defense against the charges. He also said that the company launched their own internal investigation after the disclosure in March 2015. This investigation is still in process and therefore could not be discussed.
Mr. Wong believes that the provision of $329 million for the drillship contracts of Sete Brasil is sufficient. The company’s contracts with Sete Brasil, which are worth S$7.3 billion, have been under scrutiny lately, since Keppel Offshore and Marine received hefty fines worth US $422 million due to corruption in the form of under the table payments made to gain Brazilian contracts. Since then, the US Department of Justice has also investigated the Sete Brasil contacts awarded to Keppel O&M and SembMarine, which are worth approximately US $10 billion.